Schoenmaker made a splash when she won South Africa’s first medal of the Tokyo 2020 Games – and inspired Chad le Clos in the process.

Having qualified for the 100m breaststroke final by breaking the Olympic record for the distance and heading into the showdown as the fastest qualifier, Schoenmaker was the favourite to emerge from the water with gold in Tokyo. As it was, she only managed silver, with American teenager Lydia Jacoby edging the 24-year-old to first place.

Schoenmaker, who led the pack at one point, touched the wall in 1:05.22, behind Jacoby (1:04.95). Lilly King, the world record holder and gold medallist in Rio 2016, finished third in 1:05.54.

Schoenmaker was still beaming with pride after winning her first Olympic medal, on her Games debut, as well as clinching South Africa’s first of the 2020 edition.

“It was amazing. We knew we were going to have a tough race going into the final. I cannot complain, I’ve been happy since the heats, obviously,” she said.

Schoenmaker came into the competition seeded fourth in the 100m, as opposed to being the number-one seed, as she is in the 200m. She said she was ecstatic about earning a place…



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